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Australians wasting $1.8 billion a year on unused gym memberships

Australians wasting $1.8 billion a year on unused gym memberships
September 25, 2018

With more than one in five Australian adults having a gym membership, new reports suggest that 27% of fitness club members visit less than once a week.

A poll for news.com.au also shows that about 553,000 Australian fitness club members don’t even go once a month, while 56% go at least twice a week

For those that are infrequent visitors, their wasted fees add up to a staggering $1.8 billion, according to finder.com.au.

Commenting on the findings, Latrobe University Centre for Sport and Social Impact Director Matthew Nicholson told news.com.au it was unsurprising so many didn’t use their memberships.

He advised "for many the gym is an environment full of the fear of judgment.

“There’s also a feeling of failure of keeping up that habit despite the research that shows keeping up that habit is extremely difficult.”

Nicholson suggested that for these people, keeping their memberships was a way of “cutting themselves a bit of slack”, adding "there is a vision of the healthier self for everyone.

“Maybe the promise of starting again is enough for keeping the membership going.”

Previous research from Fitness Australia found women were more likely than men to go to the gym.

The peak body also found financial hardship and time factors were some of the biggest reasons for people to give up their memberships.

Fitness Australia told news.com.au that 56% of people kept their gym memberships for longer than 12 months.

Finder has also published a gym comparison guide for consumers.

Click here for more information.

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12th March 2018 - Australian fitness industry revenues to grow to $2.4 billion by 2022/23

10th March 2018 - Gyms and fitness centres among Australia’s most successful franchise operations

18th January 2018 - Fitness Australia’s Bill Moore flags industry challenges for 2018

22nd October 2017 - Gemba shares new views on fitness industry retention

29th April 2017 - Almost half of fitness club members end their memberships within 12 months

24th March 2017 - Fitness industry benefits from decline in sport participation

21st January 2016 - Membership retention lessons from 2015 that gyms need to know in 2016

30th August 2015 - Latest IHRSA member retention report examines likely fitness club promoters and detractors

23rd February 2015 - Australian gym market to reach saturation within five years

22nd January 2015 - Australians spending $8.5 billion annually on fitness


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